Unflinching

Nomad Theatre's Wit illuminates the dying process.

Suzanne Fountain nurses Billie McBride in Wit.
Suzanne Fountain nurses Billie McBride in Wit.

Details

Through June 29
303-774-4037, www.nomadtheatre.net
Nomad Theatre, 1410 Quince Street, Boulder

I am also troubled by the play's final image, in which Bearing steps into a cone of light (a moment underlined in the Nomad production by an upsurge of soupy music). Is Edson solving the play's central paradox about the accessibility of grace by fiat? Is she imposing a conventionally religious solution? The power of Wit lies in its unblinking honesty, its willingness to examine death stripped of the softening effects of myth and convention. Wouldn't a truer final image have shown Bearing dead on her pain-rumpled sheets with doctors and nurses simply watching? Would that have been unendurable? Or, having gazed so steadily and so long at death, was Edson finally forced to avert her eyes?

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